Sportage 1.7 CRDi 3 SatNav 2WD
this way comes
Sportage. Everybody knows that Kia
make very good cars; now they
make dramatic-looking ones, too...
FEW WOULD DENY THAT THE ALL-NEW SPORTAGE'S striking looks make
just about anything else in this class (Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai, to name but
two) appear rather dowdy. But then head-turners are what Peter Schreyer, Kia's
design supremo, does best after all, he's the man
who penned the original Audi TT.
With its handsomely aggressive lines, the Sportage is undeniably desirable.
Proof, if any was needed, came from the genuine interest it attracted everywhere
it stopped; from motorway service areas, petrol forecourts, and shopping centre
car parks. Several serious enquirers were surprised it cost less than £30,000.
Just look at the pictures and see the highlights for yourself: clamshell bonnet
running down to highly-distinctive slanted front lights with bright LED daytime
running lights; sculpted wheel arches packed with standout 18-inch machine-finished
alloy wheels; the unexpected but highly distinctive reverse-angle C-pillars
and shapely rear haunches; and the ruler-straight trailing edges of the rear
doors. Hard to believe that something this sexy could be on your drive for as
little as £17,015 and that you could, like us, be getting 50mpg.
tested the new eco-friendly 1.7 turbodiesel in top spec 3 SatNav trim; and even
that only costs a smidgen over £23K £23,065, to be precise. Check
out the equipment you get and even this proves to be a bargain price.
1.7 CRDi returned
an impressive 49.2mpg
and we certainly
didnt go out of our way
to drive economically.
should easily match the
Standard kit includes tinted glass (with privacy glass to the rear windows and
tailgate), full black leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, 7-inch
touchscreen SatNav, dual-zone climate control, four electric windows, auto-dimming
rear-view mirror, panoramic electric sunroof, auto lights, Xenon headlights
with washers and auto levelling, cornering lights, speed-sensitive automatic
door locking and rain-sensing wipers with de-icer function.
And that's not all there's also a rear view camera, reversing
sensors, cruise control, Bluetooth with voice recognition, RDS radio/CD/MP3
player with iPod cable, LED daytime running lights, roof rails, 18-inch alloys
and a mass of safety and security equipment including a full array of airbags,
active front headrests and the all-important traction and stability control
systems along with Hill Start Assist Control and a Roll Over Sensor. Plus peace
of mind with Kia's 7-year/100,000-mile warranty.
The new 1.7-litre turbodiesel tested here is only available with front-wheel
drive (some models have 4WD) and comes with a six-speed manual 'box. Alongside
114bhp it pumps out 192lb ft of torque from 1,250rpm. On the road that means
relaxed, refined, and pretty rapid progress. And the smooth and precise gearchange
action makes manual gear-swopping something you'll enjoy.
Kia's Intelligent Stop & Go system is standard-fit and the official fuel consumption
figures are 52.3mpg for the combined cycle, 44.8 urban and 56.5mpg extra-urban.
Our hard-driven 1.7 CRDi returned an impressive 49.2mpg and we certainly didn't
go out of our way to drive economically. Consequently, real-world customers
should easily match the official figures.
For the record, the Stop & Go system worked very smoothly; after the first few
stop-starts you don't notice it at all. Reassuring is the fact that if the engine
is warming-up after a cold start or the AirCon is working hard, then the ISG
will not to stop the engine; and if you don't want it on, you can switch if
off at any time.
The 1.7-litre unit makes for a satisfyingly 'laid back' drive, with power served
up smoothly, particularly cruising motorways where an unstressed 2,500 revs
will see you bowling along at a very relaxed 80mph. And despite the 107mph top
speed and 0-60mph acceleration in 11.9 seconds, the performance never feels
wanting. Engine sounds are well-muted and few passengers guessed correctly that
there was a diesel in the engine bay.
spite of the sloping roofline and steeply-raked windscreen the cabin is pretty
spacious it helps that there's a full-length (genuinely panoramic)
glass roof that floods the cabin with light. And in case sunshine is not your
thing, twin retractable sunshades are fitted.
Not only are the front
but so too are the back
Other nice touches
include great dials and
the easy-to-use 7-inch
display that interfaces
seamlessly with the
audio, Bluetooth, 3D
SatNav and rear-view
The front section tilts and slides, opening all the way back to behind the front
headrests. Powered one-shot operation for both open, close and tilt makes it
easy to use on the move, and a pop-up deflector ensures no buffeting. The fixed
rear glass panel is equally large, extending back past the rear headrests.
The fascia is sleek, neat and smartly finished; and you can't fault the cabin's
build quality or attention to detail for instance, the smart and
tactile rubber-and-chrome air vent control wheels; soft-touch trim materials
that look good and feel good. Chrome and metallic highlights add to the pleasant
ambience, as too does the textured fabric headlining. Thoughtful touches abound
such as the overhead lights for the large vanity mirrors and sun
visors that extend inwards to cover the area around the rear-view mirror.
The Sportage is a comfortable five-seater, made more inviting by the large,
well-shaped and firmly-supportive seats upholstered in soft, smooth-grain black
leather you even get leather-trimmed door armrests. Better still,
not only are the front seats heated but so too are the back outer pair. Other
nice touches include clear dials and the easy-to-use 7-inch touchscreen colour
display that interfaces seamlessly with the audio, Bluetooth, 3D SatNav and
The driver gets a 'command' driving position and a grippy leather-wrapped steering
wheel that adjusts generously for both reach and height; easily differentiated
3D buttons for telephone, voice control, audio and cruise are all built-into
the steering wheel.
To ensure the driver is as comfortable behind the wheel as can be, the seats
have height and lumbar adjustment and the front seatbelts are also height-adjustable.
On-demand powerfold mirrors are yet another convenience that, unlike most, work
with the ignition on or off.
The driver also sits square-on to the wheel an important factor
in long-distance comfort. Big footwells and a comfortable angle on the left-foot
rest all make life easier for the person behind the wheel.
The sturdy traditional handbrake is right where you want it. The centre armrest
big and padded is the right height for elbows and
forearms, doesn't crowd the handbrake and tops a usefully deep storage box.
The illuminated glovebox is of a good size and cooled. And the biggish door
pockets hold bottles or cans. Another open tray ahead of the gearlever has a
power socket plus USB, iPod and Aux-in connections.
in the back is an equally pleasant experience and the view out of the long rear
windows is not restricted by the privacy glass. The raised rear bench can seat
three adults side-by-side (plus there's ample foot room for the 'piggy in the
The Sportage feels
on the road,
and generally proving to
be easily manoeuvrable
It also rides comfortably,
even on its dramatic
The two outer seats match the fronts for looks and comfort, plus there's loads
of legroom and foot room and the backrest is set at an accommodating angle,
so rear passengers can stretch out and enjoy the ride.
A five-star Euro NCAP rating guarantees that you'll be as safe as possible wherever
you sit. And parents will appreciate the Isofix child seat fixings built into
the two outer rear seats.
The boot is a spacious 564 litres; drop and tumble the 60:40 split one-touch
rear seats and the boot expands into a versatile 1,353-litre loadbay. The loading
lip is at mid-thigh and although the folded rear seats don't lay totally flat,
the loadbay is still practical and easy to use. And top marks to Kia for providing
a full-size matching alloy spare wheel you don't see many of those
It looks like it's going fast even when it's standing still, so how does the
Sportage drive? Very nicely, thank you. For a start it's an easy car to place
on the road. The speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering has electric power
assistance and feels precise and communicative enough for parking and quick
driving; the turning circle is a tight town-friendly 10.5 metres.
Body control is well managed and overall the Sportage feels reassuringly competent
on the road, cornering confidently and generally proving to be easily manoeuvrable
The two-wheel drive set-up feels fine and the electronic stability control system
is always watching out for you, ready to lend a hand if needs be. Brakes (all
discs; ventilated up front) provide easy stopping power.
Even running on 18-inch wheels with 235/55 rubber the Sportage rode comfortably
with no trace of the 'fidgeting' that big rims sometimes generate. And the diesel
under the bonnet? It's quiet and copes well, even four-up. In fact, everybody
who rode in 'our' Sportage wanted one.
In 1.7 CRDi 3 SatNav spec the Sportage has 'want one' written all over it. It's
also an extremely well kitted-out, comfortable, five-door, five-seat crossover
with real presence. And a conscience: most owners should see a consistent 50mpg.
After a week driving the Sportage we were genuinely sad to see it go. And you
can't say better than that! MotorBar
Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi
2WD | £23,065
Top speed: 107mph | 0-60mph: 11.9 seconds | Overall test MPG: 49.2mpg
Power: 114bhp | Torque: 192lb ft | CO2 143g/km